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1 Whack-A-Mole  Sun, Feb 2, 2014 1:33:53pm

I agree with you about Stephen King’s work. When I read one of his novels that doesn’t work for me, it somehow feels like it’s a worse book than one that is, in actuality, a worse book. Maybe it’s just that after reading his strongest works (The Stand, It, the Shining are my personal favorites), I just have higher expectations for him than I do other writers and thus feel more let down than I should be.

2 BusyMonster  Mon, Feb 3, 2014 5:17:53am

re: #1 Whack-A-Mole

I agree with you about Stephen King’s work. When I read one of his novels that doesn’t work for me, it somehow feels like it’s a worse book than one that is, in actuality, a worse book. Maybe it’s just that after reading his strongest works (The Stand, It, the Shining are my personal favorites), I just have higher expectations for him than I do other writers and thus feel more let down than I should be.

The Dark Tower counts as one of the biggest letdowns in literature. Hella strong beginning, literal decades of justified hype, and he finally gets impatient and finishes the series with all the finesse one might expect from the liberal use of a jar of petroleum to shove it all in. I read the final volume of that series with increasing glumness as his narcissism and compulsion to tie all his stories together destroyed the premise of the entire thing.

And I remember thinking that he just got frustrated with trying to find the true meaning of the story and made it about himself. Barf.

3 Norbrook  Mon, Feb 3, 2014 10:27:01am

I think she had a little too much exposure to the movies and to the “shippers” on various fan boards. As someone who read all the books (still have them), in order to make “Harry and Hermione” work, she’d have to rewrite the series from the second book onward. It’s only if you didn’t read the books, or still juxtapose the movies on them that it seems “obvious” to put Harry with Hermione. Taking the books on their own, it was obvious where things were going long before she finished up the series.

That said, I don’t think any author is 100% satisfied with what they’ve published. There’s always moments of looking back and thinking “I could have done this differently,” or even “Oh lord, that’s crap! What was I thinking!”

As to the final example, almost every author I like has had their share of “clinkers,” where their work doesn’t measure up to their normal standard of excellence, or where it seems like they’re just mailing it in. One whose series I’ve been following for a while did that in one of their most recent books. It read more like a series of vignettes he’d had a short story idea for, together with some text from his other books in the series, and then wrote a few chapters scattered through there to add to the story. Instead of moving his major character and the overall story forward, it read like “I’ve got a contract deadline to meet, so, here you go.”


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